A gorgeous day in middle England and for the first time in a fortnight no need to rush into action. Tina, Anami, Kate B, Nick and Nick's wife Natalie decided to drive out to Whitwell to have a lazy late breakfast by the water's edge and to reflect on the last few days. It had a very end of term feel. Tomorrow we all go home.
Most accounts from last night suggest a triumphant although all of us were so deeply involved that it's hard to know. It certainly felt like a strong piece of work.
We headed back to Oakham to pack and tidy the house before an excited call from Chris to say that sunny weather and word of mouth meant the site was filling up quick sent us scurrying over to soak up the atmosphere and to begin the slow process of building into the show. There were smiles all over the site; lots of handshakes, hugs and a real sense of achievement. It's odd that our second night, traditionally anti-climactic, is also our fond farewell to the county and each other.
The only worry was that with almost no wind tonight, that we might lose some of the exhilaration of the sail boats swashbuckling arrival? Given everything that could have gone wrong, it was a pedantic concern.
In the end things worked like clockwork. We had nearly 2000 in the crowd - including Eleanor and her parents who came up especially to see the work. With a satisfying sense of the poetic, the mass, straining for the best view, forced the VIPs to move forward themselves and so yesterday's gap was effectively filled.
Perhaps unsurprisingly I was less connected with the work tonight. It's been a great journey and a fantastic chance to work with some very, very talented people - but my head is already moving forward. It's a strange truth that, for a director, the pinnacle of your work comes before the show opens. Once it's running there is little you can do.
And so When the Wind Blows comes to an end. Lots friendly thanks from the cast, the drummers and the choirs. We headed back to Broccoli Bottom for a party before drifting home to catch a few hours sleep. I'm on the first London bound train in the morning. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.